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Makhura: Govt will not repeat 2008 xenophobic mistake

David Makhura joined thousands of locals and foreigners marching through Johannesburg yesterday.

FILE: Zwelinzima Vavi with some of the people who took part in the anti-xenophobia march in Johannesburg on 23 April 2015. Picture: Emily Corke/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng Premier David Makhura says government will not make the same mistake it did in 2008 during the xenophobic attacks.

Makhura joined religious leaders and various organisations in leading thousands of locals and foreigners through Johannesburg yesterday to unite against the recent attacks.

#NoToXenophobia Some of the crowd waiting to be addressed. EC pic.twitter.com/na76hk3bEM

#NoToXenophobia Ronnie Kasrils says foreigners must not be blamed for the the economic crisis in South Africa. EC pic.twitter.com/2iK9akT8Ig

Thousands marched through the streets of Hillbrow to show their disdain against the violence which has once again become the focus in Africa.

Makhura said he has been tasked with stopping xenophobia for good and will not focus on the mistakes of 2008 in which only the attacks were addressed.

"My brother is my brother, my sister is my sister. We're united in action against xenophobia."

Makhura, Zwelinzima Vavi and a number of education and religious leaders marched through Johannesburg towards the Mary Fitzgerald Square.

Songs of unity were played through loud speakers on the back of a truck leading the crowd while women, children and business owners lined the streets and cheered them on.

Several foreign shop owners thanked the marchers for their support while other foreign nationals called for unity.

"So when we come to marches like this, we are one."

Thousands who joined the march vowed to bring about peace over the next few days.

'XENOPHOBIANS MUST GO'

Children as young as nine-years-old say people who attack foreigners have no place in the country and must leave immediately.

The youngsters sang louder than the rest and even coined a new term.

They refer to people who attack foreigners as "xenophobians" and who they define as people who have no place in a democratic society.

Thousands of people carried placards and sang a simple message - "bring the criminals to justice."

Marshals and volunteers struggled to keep up with the thousands who marched.

Speckled throughout the crowd were children, some as young as six singing, marching and dancing through the massive throng of people standing up for foreigners.

Clutching tightly to her mother's hand, one six-year-old had a clear message:

"I came to march for xenophobians not to be here."

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